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Despite Poor Streak: Novak Djokovic Sets New Record

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As of Monday morning, the Serbian has become the oldest number one in history, surpassing Roger Federer’s record. What does the future hold for him?

At 36 years old, it’s no secret that the start of Novak Djokovic’s season is far from the standards of excellence he has set throughout his career: dethroned by Jannik Sinner in Australia, defeated by a player outside the top-100 in Indian Wells, showing a certain apathy and fatigue that contrast with his usual inner fire.

But if Djokovic is short of incentives, he can always look to the records and milestones along the way that can guide his ambition. It’s not as if he has few, but April 1 he took one more, and it’s no small feat: being the oldest world number one in history.

This seemed a nearly unbeatable record when, back in 2018 and at 36 years and 10 months, Roger Federer sat on the throne of the ATP list. The Swiss was still riding the wave of his ‘second youth,’ with that neo-backhand that captivated so many, renewed mobility and explosiveness, and an appetite to triumph again in the big tournaments of the circuit that returned him to the top, to the surprise of many.

The record is, of course, spectacular. No one shows such durability at the top, watching as the rest of the world tries to take your crown. Nole shattered several months ago all the records related to being number one in the rankings. He has more weeks than anyone else, both at the men’s level (419) and globally (surpassing Steffi Graf’s 377 weeks); he is 109 weeks ahead of the second player with the most weeks (Federer, with 310) and now has more than double the weeks of his biggest historical rival (Nadal, 209 weeks).

Almost 13 years after the first time he tasted the sweetness of being number one, many might think that Nole is in a moment of doubt. Without Ivanisevic by his side, accumulating strange defeats, at almost 37 years old. The Serbian, however, has proven time and again that it is in these types of situations that he regroups and again shows his best version, using as fuel the presence of the young stars who will likely give him the generational handover.

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